Friday, March 21, 2014

Young Hannibal Lecter

Back in the '60s, my dad worked as a guard at a prison near Miami. He described his most memorable experience to me recently. He says that there was one prisoner who was a lot like a younger Hannibal Lecter. Very calm but very menacing. He always kept his cool no matter what, but there was something threatening about him.

Well one day, Young Lecter was able to start a riot on his cell block, purely by motivating the other prisoners into a frenzy. He didn't participate in the riot at all, but he got every other prisoner to start a fit in their cell.

My dad and a few other guards were called down to the cell block to quiet them all down. He says that when he got down there, every prisoner was screaming and throwing themselves against the walls of their cells, and shouting profanity and insults to the guards. That is, every prisoner except Lecter. He was the only quiet one on the whole block. My dad came up close to his cell, and this guy was standing near the back with his hands folded, staring my dad directly in the eye, and muttering a random sequence of numbers with a strange smile on his face. My dad stood there, trying to figure out what the numbers meant, and then it finally hit him.

The prisoner was reciting my dad's home phone number on repeat.

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